Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Drum Circles

Ever heard of drum circles? They're loads of fun and very therapuetic as a stress release. Don't ask me to name all of the drums that are used in these loud, rhythemic group sessions. People collect drums from all over the world, then come to the circles to try their hands (literally) at pounding out infectious beats.

This is how it usually works. Somebody, usually the best drummer, leads the session. The lead drummer will introduce a beat, and the group will then follow. People get very creative in their interpretations, and all sort of percussive instruments are used.

So, after reading about the health benefits of drum circles, my husband and I decided to go to a group near our home in So. Calif. It was a great experience! And those who have studied the health benefits of these noisy get togethers are absolutely right! In spite of the loud pounding, it does lower blood pressure. Is it the act of banging on something to relieve pent up anger? Well, maybe that's part of it, but there's more. Studies show that after a while, our hearts will actually beat in cinque with the drum beats. Besides that, you find yourself closing your eyes in a sort of mindless meditative state. You certainly don't think about other things when you're drumming, so those worries you have about that job interview tomorrow, or that big test you have to take at school, or whatever is on your mind...things just melt away in the moment, and you're very carefree.

Will we go again. Absolutely! Once you've enjoyed the benefits of a drum circle, you'll find yourself shopping online for your own drum. World Market often carries them. One of the girls in last night's circle just returned from a trip to Seattle, where there are numerous music stores downtown with all sorts of imported drums.

Google for drum circles in your area. They're often held outdoors in parks or on beaches. There's a group that meets monthly on the sand in Laguna Beach, CA, for instance. Find one near you and give it a try!

Health and good wishes,


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